“We must be earnest in the pulpit for our own sakes, for we shall not long be able to maintain our position as leaders in the church of God if we are dull. Moreover, for the sake of our church members, and converted people, we must be energetic, for if we are not zealous, neither will they be.
It is not in the order of nature that rivers should run uphill, and it does not often happen that zeal rises from the pew to the pulpit. It is natural that is should flow down from us to our hearers; the pulpit must therefore stand at a high level of ardour, if we are, under God, to make and to keep our people fervent.
Those who attend our ministry have a great deal to do during the week. Many of them have family trials, and heavy personal burdens to carry, and they frequently come into the assembly cold and listless, with thoughts wandering hither and thither; it is ours to take those thoughts and thrust them into the furnace of our own earnestness, melt them by a holy contemplation and by intense appeal, and pour them out into the mould of the truth.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954), 306.